Happy Monday, Camden Chatters. The offseason is here!
With the World Series concluded, things are starting to happen. Many of the things happening right now are just a formality. The free agents have been declared, for one thing. For the Orioles that means Rougned Odor, Robinson Chirinos, and Jesús Aguilar are no longer members of the team. I don’t expect any of them will re-sign. We’ll find out in a matter of days if Jordan Lyles will join them or if the Orioles will pick up his option.
Also starting yesterday, players could begin opting out of their contracts. That doesn’t apply to any current Orioles but it does apply to players who might be of interest to the Orioles. Chris Bassitt is reportedly declining his mutual option with the Mets. The 33-year-old will be looking for his big payday after a very good 2022 season. What do you think? Any interest?
Another pitcher who is opting out is Carlos Rodón. The lefty is one of the primo free agents on the market this year and one that I’d love to see sign with the Orioles. I don’t know if they have a chance or interest, though. I’m still pretty fuzzy on what liftoff will actually mean.
Hot stove season is here!
Pivoting to prospects, let’s talk about Heston Kjerstad. He was selected for the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game and to participate in the home run derby. The derby took place on Saturday night and through the first two rounds, Kjerstad hit the most home runs with 22. That sent him to the finals against Mariners prospect Robert Perez, Jr. Perez beat Kjerstad in the final, 11-10.
After the excitement of the home run derby, yesterday was the All-Star Game. In addition to Kjerstad, Orioles prospect Noah Denoyer was named to the team. And he made the start! Denoyer allowed the first two batters to reach via a walk and a single and allowed an unearned run. It was just the start for the NL team, who defeated the AL team 9-3. Kjerstad when 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI in the loss.
Robert Perez Jr. wins Arizona Fall League Derby 2022 - MLB.com
Our favorite AFL'er, Heston Kjerstad, came in second.
Baltimore Orioles Relievers: The State of the 2023 Bullpen - Birds Watcher
Will it look like more of the same? One thing I know is that the next good Orioles relief pitcher is that we’ll never have heard of him before.
Five questions facing the Orioles in 2022 offseason - Baltimore Sun
An offseason that could determine the Orioles’ ability to push for the American League East title and beyond is beginning, and they enter it facing questions on, off and about the field.
Long gone, but never forgotten: Baltimore's Memorial Stadium - MASN Sports
Steve Melewski goes on a trip down memory lane.
Birthdays and History
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have three Orioles birthday buddies:
- Dariel Álvarez turns 34 years old today. Álvarez appeared in 14 games with the Orioles in 2015-16 and 424 games in the O’s minor league system from 2013-2018. He spent time in Japan after that and spent 2022 playing in the Mexican League.
- Kris Benson is 48. He made 30 starts for the 2006 team. I don’t recall much about his actual pitching, but I do remember when he hit a home run off of Pedro Martinez in interleague play.
- Bob Hale (b. 1933, d. 2012) was also born on this day. Hale appeared with the Orioles as a backup first baseman and pinch hitter from 1955-59.
On this day in 1989, Gregg Olson won the Rookie of the Year award. He was the first relief pitcher to win the award and remains the last Oriole to have done so.